, attached to 2011-08-10

Review by ucpete

ucpete Cross-post from sethadam1's "Tahoe 2 Recap":

Set I fizzled last night, and you could feel it in the crowd. I was pleasantly surprised with the Dogs Stole Things opener, but I feel like it set too mellow a tone for the rest of the set. Alaska really dragged and the crowd seemed to lose interest. Halley's began to perk things up a bit, but the jam was cut a bit short. Trey had fewer flubs than usual during It's Ice, but during the dark atonal part, Fishman seemed to be in a rush and chimed in too early for my taste and before I knew it we were dragging through Circus. Ya Mar was fine. I felt that Stash never took off. It seemed to me like Trey was trying to start the jam a little quieter and focused and wanted things to build, but it never really took off IMO. The end of Stash was a little hotter, and I feel like they went to Funky Bitch because Trey knew he'd be able to find his groove... and he did for the most part. But Antelope fell short for me as well, and overall I was left feeling pretty "meh" after the first set. Don't get me wrong, there's no other place I'd rather be than at a Phish show, but I had high expectations for such beautiful surroundings (that are especially sentimental for me having spent time in South Lake every summer growing up).

Contrary to how many of you felt about the second set, I thought it was absolutely awesome. I think the band realized the first set was a little weak, and despite having played DWD just two days earlier, they knew that it'd be difficult to not get something going opening the second set with it. Though the jam wasn't long, I thought it was tight. I was a little worried at first with the "ripcord" as well, especially jumping into Runaway Jim (what if it were just a standard Jim and then they play Possum again?!), but Jim did not disappoint. The outro jam from Jim was spacey and great, and at that time my buddy Dave and I turned to each other and nodded "Ghost!", and our wish was granted. Again, clean, nice peak, not as jammed-out as I'd like, but solid. The energy kept up with Golden Age, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites (it kind of has a Crosseyed feel to it doesn't it?). It was well-played, kept the energy up, and as night was falling, the lights really started taking off too. Everyone felt the 2001 coming on as well, and I'll never complain about a 2001. Dave and I said before the show we thought the second set would end with 2001 > YEM, but 2001 wasn't especially jammed out so we knew there was more to come. Sneakin' Sally snuck up on everyone, and everyone was feeling it! I loved the vocal jam going back into the jam. I've seen about 10 3.0 shows and I can say with certainty that DWD > Jim > Ghost > Golden Age > 2001 > Sally Alley was the best six song stretch I've seen since the reunion. There wasn't a misplaced song or a low point. Guyute was a flubfest and sort of killed the buzz from the first 50 minutes of the second set. Velvet Sea was fine, though the only thing I can think about when I see it live is Page crying at Coventry. It was nice to see YEM close the second set; I thought it was sort of strange that they hadn't played it since before Super Ball IX, and with all the repeats so far in the August shows I figured they'd've played YEM by then. YEM was above average, and Kuroda was on fire from Wash Uffizi to the end of the vocal jam.

I actually don't hate Show of Life, but I think it's being overplayed in precious slots in the setlist, and it was a bummer to hear encored. GTBT was a great way to end the show (though there were some points of hesitation and uncertainty here and there). All in all it was a great time, and many of my friends who went both nights (I only went the second night) said that the second set was the only above average set of the four played in Tahoe... I guess it goes to show how even though watching the stream is awesome, one can get a completely different experience being there. From most of what I've read online, people seemed to enjoy Set II from 8/9 the most, but most of the people I spoke to last night like Set II from 8/10 more. Looks like I'll have to go back and listen to it all again!


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